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United States/BOB & Other : Post War Japan Overprinted for Usage in the Ryukyu Islands - How to identify

 

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philatelia
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30 May 2016
10:30:21am
Hidden gems - A very brief look at the Postmaster Provisional Overprints of Okinawa

Have you ever looked at a stamp with an unusual cancel and began to wonder if it could be an overprint and NOT a cancel? Well in the case of the stamps issued during the turbulent postal history of the Ryukyu Islands immediately following World War II, an overprint might indeed be what you have.

Following the Surrender of Japan on September 2, 1945, the Ryukyu Islands administration was shuttled between various offices of the military until the formation of USCAR (United States Civil Administration of the Ryukyu Islands) - in order to keep this brief, suffice it to say that this was a period of rapid change on the islands. In the interim before the printing of the first postage stamps printed by the US Government using US currency, the local postmasters had to make do with what they had on hand. Thus, under US military command, the postmasters of the four Ryukyu Gunto governments covering the islands groups of Amani, Miyako, Okinawa and Yaeyama created overprints. The US government authorized these postmasters to issue these stamps and postal stationary using post-war Japan issues. The postmasters made these existing stamps valid for use in the Ryukyus by adding their personal overprint or seal which is known as a “chop”. There were numerous different rates and usages in the different regions. This is a rich, complex and fascinating area of specialisation, especially if you like a challenge.

Here are examples of the postmaster's "chops"

Amani

Image Not Found Image Not Found

Miyako

Image Not Found Image Not Found

Okinawa

Image Not Found Image Not Found

Yaeyama;

Image Not Found Image Not Found



These were replaced by the regular issues listed in Scotts that we are all familiar with. But if you’d like to add a new level to your Ryukyus collection, consider adding a few of these to your album. You never know - you might have a few already in your Japanese duplicates stockbook. So the next time you’re sifting through those very common Japanese postwar issues, take another look. You may have found a much more valuable provisional overprint. If you find one on cover, you've really hit the jackpot. Good luck, happy stamp sleuthing (stumping or 'specking perhaps?) and I hope you find one! If you do - please share!


Sources;
Scott’s USA Specialized
Wikipedia
John Apfelbaum
Jack Searles
George C. Baxley

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michael78651

30 May 2016
10:57:01am
re: Post War Japan Overprinted for Usage in the Ryukyu Islands - How to identify

The Ryukyu Islands postmaster's name was Pork.

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kam41566

30 May 2016
12:07:19pm
re: Post War Japan Overprinted for Usage in the Ryukyu Islands - How to identify

Very interesting, Theresa! As a fellow Japanese collector, I had no idea that these existed. I don't think I have ever seen these stamps in my duplicates, but I will be on the lookout for them now!

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d1stamper
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30 May 2016
12:50:15pm

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re: Post War Japan Overprinted for Usage in the Ryukyu Islands - How to identify

I never new that these exsisted. I may have pass up on some of these will never know.

I will check what I have and see if I have any.

Thanks for sharing.

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michael78651

30 May 2016
01:00:52pm
re: Post War Japan Overprinted for Usage in the Ryukyu Islands - How to identify

These postmaster provisionals are listed in the Scott US Specialized Catalog.

Provisional postal stationary exists as do provisional revenues.

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Bobstamp
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30 May 2016
01:14:50pm
re: Post War Japan Overprinted for Usage in the Ryukyu Islands - How to identify

I'd never heard of them. Thanks, Philatelia. I wouldn't mind having a few of those in my collection. I spent several months in Okinawa/Ryukyu Islands training with the Marines before going to South Vietnam. I was pretty much a dumb kid then and didn't know a thing about the Battle of Okinawa, which was the most costly battle in the Pacific in terms of casualties, ships sunk by kamikazes, etc. There was probably a lot of history right in front of me that I didn't recognize. Anyway, about those stamps…

eBay doesn't have any at this time. I found two on the Decampe web site, priced way out of my league at CAN $942.25 and CAN $2261.41 respectively:

Image Not Found

Image Not Found

A similar situation occurred in Algeria at the end of the Algerian War, in 1962. One difference in the military/political situation in Algeria was that there was no occupying force, because Algerian insurgents won. Following the war, French stamps which had been in use in Algeria after it became a department of France (rather than a French colony) were overprinted "EA" for Estate Algerien. Individual postoffice were permitted to make their own overprint devices, with the result that there are scores, maybe hundreds, of varieties. Here's a sample from my collection:

Image Not Found

There a lot of locals printed in postwar Germany, and most likely in many other countries since the Penny Black was invented. But I don't know of any as pricey as those Ryukyu overprints.

Bob

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seanpashby
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31 May 2016
02:10:50pm
re: Post War Japan Overprinted for Usage in the Ryukyu Islands - How to identify

There is also a handful of revenues on the same Japanese stamps with an overprint like this. They are also quite pricey.
Image Not Found

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Philatarium
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APS #187980

07 Jun 2016
07:04:57pm
re: Post War Japan Overprinted for Usage in the Ryukyu Islands - How to identify

What a great article!

Thanks for writing this, Theresa!!

-- Dave

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"You gotta put down the duckie if you wanna play the saxophone. (Hoots the Owl -- Sesame Street)"

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musicman
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APS #213005

07 Jun 2016
09:58:24pm
re: Post War Japan Overprinted for Usage in the Ryukyu Islands - How to identify

Theresa,

With your permission, I would like to print this out and keep it for personal reference AND keep a copy with my RyuKyu Islands Album!

Wonderful info! Thank you!!


(I LOVE learning this stuff!)

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philatelia
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11 Jun 2016
02:52:16pm
re: Post War Japan Overprinted for Usage in the Ryukyu Islands - How to identify

Why sure you have my permission! I did the same thing - photocopied and put in Japan pages and Ryukyu.

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"August 2023 - selling penny start bargain lots on EBay - https://www.ebay.com/str/philatelia"

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Author/Postings
Members Picture
philatelia

30 May 2016
10:30:21am

Hidden gems - A very brief look at the Postmaster Provisional Overprints of Okinawa

Have you ever looked at a stamp with an unusual cancel and began to wonder if it could be an overprint and NOT a cancel? Well in the case of the stamps issued during the turbulent postal history of the Ryukyu Islands immediately following World War II, an overprint might indeed be what you have.

Following the Surrender of Japan on September 2, 1945, the Ryukyu Islands administration was shuttled between various offices of the military until the formation of USCAR (United States Civil Administration of the Ryukyu Islands) - in order to keep this brief, suffice it to say that this was a period of rapid change on the islands. In the interim before the printing of the first postage stamps printed by the US Government using US currency, the local postmasters had to make do with what they had on hand. Thus, under US military command, the postmasters of the four Ryukyu Gunto governments covering the islands groups of Amani, Miyako, Okinawa and Yaeyama created overprints. The US government authorized these postmasters to issue these stamps and postal stationary using post-war Japan issues. The postmasters made these existing stamps valid for use in the Ryukyus by adding their personal overprint or seal which is known as a “chop”. There were numerous different rates and usages in the different regions. This is a rich, complex and fascinating area of specialisation, especially if you like a challenge.

Here are examples of the postmaster's "chops"

Amani

Image Not Found Image Not Found

Miyako

Image Not Found Image Not Found

Okinawa

Image Not Found Image Not Found

Yaeyama;

Image Not Found Image Not Found



These were replaced by the regular issues listed in Scotts that we are all familiar with. But if you’d like to add a new level to your Ryukyus collection, consider adding a few of these to your album. You never know - you might have a few already in your Japanese duplicates stockbook. So the next time you’re sifting through those very common Japanese postwar issues, take another look. You may have found a much more valuable provisional overprint. If you find one on cover, you've really hit the jackpot. Good luck, happy stamp sleuthing (stumping or 'specking perhaps?) and I hope you find one! If you do - please share!


Sources;
Scott’s USA Specialized
Wikipedia
John Apfelbaum
Jack Searles
George C. Baxley

Like 
14 Members
like this post.
Login to Like.

"August 2023 - selling penny start bargain lots on EBay - https://www.ebay.com/str/philatelia"

www.ebay.com/str/phi ...
michael78651

30 May 2016
10:57:01am

re: Post War Japan Overprinted for Usage in the Ryukyu Islands - How to identify

The Ryukyu Islands postmaster's name was Pork.

Like 
2 Members
like this post.
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kam41566

30 May 2016
12:07:19pm

re: Post War Japan Overprinted for Usage in the Ryukyu Islands - How to identify

Very interesting, Theresa! As a fellow Japanese collector, I had no idea that these existed. I don't think I have ever seen these stamps in my duplicates, but I will be on the lookout for them now!

Like 
1 Member
likes this post.
Login to Like.
Members Picture
d1stamper

30 May 2016
12:50:15pm

Approvals

re: Post War Japan Overprinted for Usage in the Ryukyu Islands - How to identify

I never new that these exsisted. I may have pass up on some of these will never know.

I will check what I have and see if I have any.

Thanks for sharing.

Like
Login to Like
this post
michael78651

30 May 2016
01:00:52pm

re: Post War Japan Overprinted for Usage in the Ryukyu Islands - How to identify

These postmaster provisionals are listed in the Scott US Specialized Catalog.

Provisional postal stationary exists as do provisional revenues.

Like
Login to Like
this post
Members Picture
Bobstamp

30 May 2016
01:14:50pm

re: Post War Japan Overprinted for Usage in the Ryukyu Islands - How to identify

I'd never heard of them. Thanks, Philatelia. I wouldn't mind having a few of those in my collection. I spent several months in Okinawa/Ryukyu Islands training with the Marines before going to South Vietnam. I was pretty much a dumb kid then and didn't know a thing about the Battle of Okinawa, which was the most costly battle in the Pacific in terms of casualties, ships sunk by kamikazes, etc. There was probably a lot of history right in front of me that I didn't recognize. Anyway, about those stamps…

eBay doesn't have any at this time. I found two on the Decampe web site, priced way out of my league at CAN $942.25 and CAN $2261.41 respectively:

Image Not Found

Image Not Found

A similar situation occurred in Algeria at the end of the Algerian War, in 1962. One difference in the military/political situation in Algeria was that there was no occupying force, because Algerian insurgents won. Following the war, French stamps which had been in use in Algeria after it became a department of France (rather than a French colony) were overprinted "EA" for Estate Algerien. Individual postoffice were permitted to make their own overprint devices, with the result that there are scores, maybe hundreds, of varieties. Here's a sample from my collection:

Image Not Found

There a lot of locals printed in postwar Germany, and most likely in many other countries since the Penny Black was invented. But I don't know of any as pricey as those Ryukyu overprints.

Bob

Like 
1 Member
likes this post.
Login to Like.

www.ephemeraltreasur ...
Members Picture
seanpashby

31 May 2016
02:10:50pm

re: Post War Japan Overprinted for Usage in the Ryukyu Islands - How to identify

There is also a handful of revenues on the same Japanese stamps with an overprint like this. They are also quite pricey.
Image Not Found

Like 
1 Member
likes this post.
Login to Like.
Members Picture
Philatarium

APS #187980
07 Jun 2016
07:04:57pm

re: Post War Japan Overprinted for Usage in the Ryukyu Islands - How to identify

What a great article!

Thanks for writing this, Theresa!!

-- Dave

Like 
1 Member
likes this post.
Login to Like.

"You gotta put down the duckie if you wanna play the saxophone. (Hoots the Owl -- Sesame Street)"

www.hipstamp.com/sto ...
Members Picture
musicman

APS #213005
07 Jun 2016
09:58:24pm

re: Post War Japan Overprinted for Usage in the Ryukyu Islands - How to identify

Theresa,

With your permission, I would like to print this out and keep it for personal reference AND keep a copy with my RyuKyu Islands Album!

Wonderful info! Thank you!!


(I LOVE learning this stuff!)

Like 
2 Members
like this post.
Login to Like.
Members Picture
philatelia

11 Jun 2016
02:52:16pm

re: Post War Japan Overprinted for Usage in the Ryukyu Islands - How to identify

Why sure you have my permission! I did the same thing - photocopied and put in Japan pages and Ryukyu.

Like 
1 Member
likes this post.
Login to Like.

"August 2023 - selling penny start bargain lots on EBay - https://www.ebay.com/str/philatelia"

www.ebay.com/str/phi ...
        

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